Before I start, let me say that oh my goodness I love these two little people God has seen fit to give me. They melt my heart, make me smile, and give me a reason to get out of bed every morning.
That being said, I want to share with you a few of the things that have been running through my head as of late.
My Dad told me about a comedian once who talked about parenthood. She commented on how parents love to get together and talk about how their kids drive them crazy, the house is a mess, they can't get anything done and they never get to do anything for themselves anymore. You know, all the stuff we really say when we get together. Then, she says, they kind of look at the floor, sigh, and say "But it's all worth it." She joked that they won't even look you in the eye as they say it, as if they are trying to convince even themselves.
Well, I've had a few of those days the past few weeks, as we've adjusted to having two kids under the age of two at our house. It's been a huge change, learning to divide our time evenly between children and try to fit basic tasks (like eating, showering, and going to the bathroom) in the in-between moments.
A few days after we brought Korban home from the hospital, I was busy changing one of those icky newborn diapers when Izzy ran into the room, looked at me for a moment.
And threw up all over the floor.
Fortunately, Dennis hadn't left for work yet, so it wasn't a big deal. We had a good laugh about how that pretty much was our wake up call that life was about to change big time.
There were a few moments in those first weeks that I wasn't laughing, though. I honestly wondered if I was up to the task of parenting. The task of raising these two little people to be intelligent, productive and content adults someday.
I looked longingly at pictures of Dennis and I back when we weren't so tired, and we had time to do fun things like travel the world, go hiking, and take naps.
The thought that came to me and has been running through my head is this - parenting is not a birthday party, it's a marathon.
By that I mean that parenting is not always instant gratification. You don't alway get to dress your best and have fun and go home in a couple of hours. It's not "Well, that was fun, but I'm getting tired now, let's do this again next year."
Parenting is a long-term, push through the tough stuff and grow stronger from it commitment. Parenting is finding all your weaknesses and still not quitting. It's a mental challenge, like not giving in to your toddler when she pitches a fit in the parking lot. It's a physical challenge, like waking up in the morning and caring for your family even though you were up with a newborn six times in the night.
From what they say, (not that I'd actually know) running a marathon goes beyond the adrenaline rush of starting out. It's not about breaking records or beating everyone around you. It's about continuing the race just because you're committed to it, not because it's fun or makes you look awesome. Even if it hurts. Even if, in the back of your mind (and the front and sides of it, too), you're wondering why in the world you got yourself into this and all you really want to do is watch a movie (without talking animals and princesses) and eat ice cream.
We do this parenting thing because we're committed to it. And it satisfies us. It fulfills us. Not in the instant gratification way birthday cake does, but in a long term way, like finishing a marathon. It fulfills us in a way that only the hard things in life can.
We all want to become better people, and I find that being a Mom has been the biggest teacher of my life. It's no longer about me. I don't get to call time out when it gets frustrating, and really, quitting is not an option. I never knew how selfish I was with my time until I became a mom. I also never knew how capable I was of loving so sacrificially or completely.
And of course, a lot of days, it's tons of fun, too. :)
|Attack of cuteness|
Yes, parenting is a sacrifice, but the rewards are far, far greater than anything I could have given up.
This post was shared at Homestead barn hop, Making your home sing Monday, Frugally Days Sustainable Ways, Fat Tuesday